FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 14th, 2021
Pay Our Interns Announces FY22 Congressional Priorities
Equitable Internship Initiatives Gain Momentum on the Hill
Washington, D.C. — Today, Pay Our Interns announces its congressional priorities for equitable internship programming on Capitol Hill. In 2018, Pay Our Interns successfully pushed Congress to allocate funds towards paid internships on the Hill, helping to secure over $48 million to date.
“The support behind paid internship programs on Capitol Hill has grown exponentially. In under three years, the percentage of House offices that paid interns rose from 10% to 90%,” said Carlos Mark Vera, Executive Director at Pay Our Interns. “Now, we are working alongside stakeholders on and off the Hill to ensure internship programs are implemented equitably, pay living wages and that we are replicating our successful model to create new opportunities through paid internships in congressional committees and federal agencies.”
Pay Our Interns top priority requests for Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 Legislative Branch appropriations bill include:
- Increasing fund allocations to ensure interns are compensated through the House intern allowance and are able to be paid a livable wage. This effort has been led by Rep. Adam Smith, Rep. Seth Moulton and a group of 88 Congressional leaders and requests $40,000 per office.
- Creating dedicated committee funding to compensate interns. This effort has been led by Rep. Darren Soto and requests the creation of an appropriated fund of $1,470,000 which would grant an allowance of $70,000 per committee. This proposed fund will not count towards the staff cap in committees.
- Funding the Department of State Student Internship Program. Rep. Joaquin Castro led the effort requesting that $10 million in support of the Department of State Student Internship Program be included in the State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs appropriations bill. On the Senate side, Senators Cory Booker and Tim Scott introduced a bipartisan bill to establish the program and build a diverse diplomatic corps. Additionally, The House passed the State Department reauthorization bill in May.
- Creating a House Intern Resource Office. With Demand Progress, We are supporting advocacy efforts to create a House Intern Resource Office which would help offices implement equitable internship programs, connect interns to resources and improve data collection and transparency.
On April 29th, 2021 Carlos Mark Vera, Co-Founder and Executive Director of Pay Our Interns testified before the House Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress, on access to equitable internships. His testimony included further contextualization for the priorities above as well as a few other key priorities: broadening intern recruitment, improving access to internships, expanding remote internship opportunities and providing intern housing.
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Pay Our Interns is a 501(c)(3) non-profit founded in 2016 and led by two formerly unpaid interns of color. It is the nation’s only organization fighting to ensure all students—especially Black, Latinx, and Native American students—have equitable access to professional career paths through the implementation of paid internships countrywide. Pay Our Interns (POI) seeks to ensure individuals from all backgrounds are represented across industries impacting their communities, and develop pathways for advancement. In doing so, POI creates a more equitable workforce, more diverse leadership, and a more just world. POI is headquartered in Washington, D.C. For more information visitwww.payourinterns.org.